I know people don’t like you mentioning the ‘Christmas’ word before November, but for me, as soon as October rolls around, I’m excited for Christmas. I also like to get into the Christmas spirit a little earlier, as it means I have more time to prepare, save and buy presents without a mad dash in December. As much as I love online shopping throughout the year, there’s something so special about Christmas shopping with all of the festive decorations and cheesy music in the shops, the cute Christmas markets and just an atmosphere you can’t get when shopping online. I have a roundup of the top cities for UK Christmas shopping, so keep on reading to see my picks.
If you’ve never been to Manchester, you really are missing out, as it’s such an amazing city with so much to offer. Firstly, their Christmas markets are award winning, and people travel from all over Europe to visit. The markets offer delicious international food and drinks, over 300 stalls and a fantastic atmosphere to boot. The Manchester Christmas Markets are spread across the city centre, are completely free and are accessible too which is even better.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for from the array of stalls, you also have the Arndale Centre, Trafford Centre and more. One of my favourite things about Manchester is the great tram and train connections, and if you’re looking to visit multiple cities for your Christmas shopping, you could catch a train travelling from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool Lime Street which takes less than an hour on direct trains.
Liverpool is another popular Christmas shopping destination which is why I had to include it within my top cities for UK Christmas shopping roundup. Firstly, their Christmas markets are held on the St George’s Plateau, and you can find stalls a plenty and festive drinks offered from the Teepee Bar. If you fancy letting your hair down, they even have karaoke cable cars and a beautiful, huge ferris wheel so you can see the entire Christmas markets from above.
If Christmas markets aren’t your thing, and you prefer a big bustling shopping centre, Liverpool has plenty to offer with Liverpool One, the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and the Clayton Square Shopping Centre. Liverpool has so many fabulous bars, restaurants and clubs, so it’s perfect if you want to make a weekend out of it.
No top cities for UK Christmas shopping roundup would be complete without London. There are shopping hotspots all over London which are all accessible by the London Underground with places such as Oxford Street, Bond Street, Carnaby, Regent Street and Covent Garden. If you prefer a big shopping centre with stores, restaurants and bars, the two Westfield shopping centres are well worth a visit.
However, no Christmas shopping trip to London would be complete without visiting the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It offers ice skating, stalls, rides, shows, Santa Land, a Bavarian village and so much more. There are many stalls too with gifts, food and drink with beautiful decorations and lights everywhere. It’s a must visit for all the family, and you couldn’t possibly visit without leaving feeling very festive, and very excited for Christmas.
My last pick is Nottingham, and Nottingham is one of my favourite cities all year round. It’s only a short train ride from where I live, and it just has so much to offer spread across the entire city. For shopping there’s the Intu Victoria Centre, which is my personal favourite shopping haunt, but there’s also intu Broadmarsh which is a little quieter in comparison. Nottingham has so many beautiful side streets with shops, bars and restaurants, and I find it quite easy to get around as they have a fab tram service.
Nottingham have their own Winter Wonderland, which is obviously considerably smaller than London’s but it’s still very much worth a visit with over 70 stalls selling items such as artisan cheeses, plants, homemade chutneys, mead, jewellery, scents, fashion, retro style, eco art, lego art, fair-trade, continental food, local homemade stew and home accessories. The perfect place to pick up gifts that are a little different to what you could buy in your typical shopping centre, and there’s also lots of lovely food and drink stalls too.
I really hope you enjoyed my roundup of the top cities for UK Christmas shopping.